The Famine

He entered silently, and stood in the doorway for an instant, legs akimbo, then began his slow elegant walk alongside the counter, searching the faces as he went. The one at the end, yes, that one looked ready – skin just the right shade of grey, empty eyes deep-set and indistinct, focused elsewhere. The kind that no one ever misses. He leaned forward, removing the grey one’s hat, and whispered in his ear. As the grey man smiled vacantly, he raised himself up slightly, looked heavenward, parted his lips in a perverse smile, and sank his teeth into the top of the old man’s head. As the blood began to escape in pulses, the waitress, who had been watching the newcomer, raised trembling hands to shoulder height, elbows splayed as though suspended weightless, screaming, unable to move. The cook, hearing her scream, peered out through the serving hatch in time to view this pageantry of carnage, before simultaneously soiling his chef’s blues, and mouthing a silent prayer as he watched him gracefully chew off the top of the grey one’s skull with teeth that belonged in no human man’s face, lapping at the jellified contents. A vile stench hung in the air about him like a green cloud while the others, in their fogged quasi-existence, appeared to show little or no interest. Through the blood and the screams, and the crazed, lifeless disinterest, he remembered Magritte’s “The Famine”, and began laughing at one of his better jokes.

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